Lone Roses Deflowered: The Impact of the Patriarchy on the Girls of Revolutionary Girl Utena

On March 28th, 2023, I presented at the first panel of Rider University’s 41st annual Gender and Sexuality Studies Colloquium, which was called “Gender and Media.” I presented my academic paper: Lone Roses Deflowered: The Impact of the Patriarchy on the Girls of Revolutionary Girl Utena, an essay that delved into analyzing the 1997 anime. I approached my writing through Luce Irigaray’s “Women on the Market” chapter of her book This Sex Which is Not One.

Through these characters,
Revolutionary Girl Utena sheds light on the patriarchy’s commodification of girls entering
adolescence whilst trying to stop any form of emerging lesbianism.

Then, on March 31st, I once again presented my paper, this time at the New Jersey Women’s and Gender Studies Colloquium at Georgian Court University. My paper was awarded the Emerging Scholar award.

Luce Irigaray argues that commodified women fall into three categories: “mother, virgin,
prostitute” (Irigaray 186). Nanami falls under the virgin category, making her “pure exchange
value. She is nothing but the possibility” (Irigaray 186). By telling Nanami that the life she has lived up until now is on the brink of collapse by partaking in something she was informed earlier in the episode was normal for a maturing woman, Touga is able to manipulate her into staying a highly valued commodity.

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